Instead, this recipe focuses on the mild, pleasantly grassy flavor and color of bamboo rice, an intriguing rice that is infused with the juice of bamboo leaves. A short grain Asian rice that is slightly sticky when cooked, bamboo rice is well-suited for sushi, creamy, risotto-like dishes and rice-based desserts like rice pudding.
Before cooking, bamboo rice is a striking deep jade green. However, while the color fades to a pearly celadon hue when it is cooked, the subtle herbal character of the bamboo still remains.
The delicate spring-like flavors of the main ingredients – sugar snap peas, straw mushrooms and bamboo rice – are enhanced by the aromatic spices, ginger and cardamom and rich, fragrant coconut milk.
Great as a first course, or as an accompaniment to poultry, seafood or grilled meats, this is a versatile recipe that can easily adapted to whatever ingredients are at hand. Experiment to your heart’s content – but most of all, have fun.
- 1 cup bamboo rice
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 1 inch section fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom
- 1 Tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 4 oz straw mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 lb fresh sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
- 2 Tbsp fresh chives, thinly sliced
Heat the coconut milk in a medium sized pot with a tightly fitting lid & bring to a boil. Add the chopped ginger, cardamom and sugar and simmer for a few moments to infuse the flavor into the coconut milk.
Add the rice, stirring well, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to very low and cover. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom does not stick or burn. Add a little water if the rice seems too dry.
Stir in the mushrooms and snap peas, cover again and return to low heat. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the rice is tender, but with a little resistance to the tooth.
Serve, topping with a sprinkle of sliced chives.
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